Dakota State holds annual scholarship banquet
Dakota State University held the annual scholarship banquet on November 17 in the Dakota Prairie Playhouse. The banquet brought together DSU student scholarship recipients and the donors who funded their scholarships. Guest speakers at the banquet included retired emeritus DSU faculty and long-time donors Terry and Lynn Ryan, along with student scholarship recipients Cari L. Jones, a senior elementary education major from Hartford, SD and John A. Niesen, a junior elementary education/special education major from Britton, SD.
Vice President for University Advancement Judy Payne says the banquet makes the scholarship process much more personal for both donor and student. "The banquet allows donors to actually put a face to the students they are helping, while the students have the opportunity to meet the donors responsible for funding their scholarship and get a real look at the value the donor places on their education."
Robb and Christine Graham, of Rserving.com, sponsored the banquet, which attracted nearly 500 students and donors. "Each year this event grows a bit larger," says Payne. "As our record fall enrollment shows, the best and brightest students are choosing Dakota State. It's up to the Foundation to raise the money to provide these students with the scholarships that they deserve." Dakota State continues to offer the guaranteed DSU Champion Scholarship based upon an incoming student's ACT scores. This scholarship is renewable for four years based on the student's grade point average and full time enrollment at DSU.
According to Rosie Jamison, Development Officer for Scholarships and Endowments of Dakota State, "during the recently completed academic year, 580 students received just over $671,000 in scholarships from the DSU Foundation. These numbers will be larger in the current 2011-12 academic year with more than 600 DSU students awarded over $700,000 from the DSU Foundation Scholarships funded by individual, businesses, and organization donors."
This year marked the initial year of the DSU Cyber Corps Scholarship Program available from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Nine DSU scholars were also recognized at the event as recipients of the NSF full tuition and fees, plus living allowances scholarships and DoD full tuition and fees scholarships.
Pictured of the nearly 500 donors and DSU scholars attending are: DSU President Knowlton, Robb Graham – Rserving.com the banquet sponsor, Stacey Schuller a sophomore Elementary Education major from Jackson, MN, one of the student scholarship speakers - John Niesen, junior Elementary Education/Special Education major from Britton, SD and his parents Kieth and Patty Niesen.
Cyber Corps recipients, back row: Alex Wollman, Huron, SD, Mike Klein, Sioux Falls, SD; David Miller, Madison, SD; Aaron Fields, Jackson, MN; Front row: Lee Wong, Canton, SD; Chuck Woodraska, Kimball, SD; Josh Windsor, Harrison, NE; Paul Dockter, Anchorage, AK; Dr. Josh Pauli, Associate Professor of Information Systems